Mr Jam , Manek Zeller, Daniel Bertram and Mr Fogiel

Mr Jam , Manek Zeller, Daniel Bertram and Mr Fogiel

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The picture was taken for the photo exhibition "The last Polish Jews? in the late 1980s in the Remuh Synagogue in Cracow and was shown in the gallery in Cracow in the early 1990s. There are four Jews from Cracow on this picture: Mr Jam (first from left) , Manek Zeller (second from left), I (second from right) and Mr Fogiel (first from right).

During Jewish festivals I go to the synagogue, and on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings too. I have been a member of the Jewish community organization since 1945, I mean first I joined the Jewish Committee and then the community organization. I am one of its oldest members, because a lot of people died and a lot of people have moved away. I also belong to the TSKZ, and recently we've had a Seniors' Club created. I take part in the meetings of the TSKZ Jewish Combatants' Association. Unfortunately not many people come to these meetings. There are a lot of older people, but then again the type of activities on offer don't appeal to everyone. But we are informed about all the most important events, we organize trips together, we meet in rooms owned by the TSKZ and the Jewish Community. These institutions also offer various types of assistance: material, medical, rehabilitation. During the week, for instance, I get free kosher dinners. A few times a year I go on 'camps' [organized by the Lauder Foundation] to Srodborow or to Ladek Zdroj, or to a sanatorium.

I also meet other Cracow Jews on Sabbath and at festivals at the synagogue. But not many people come to the synagogue [Remuh synagogue on Szeroka Street], and unfortunately we can't make up a minyan. The only ones who come are [Wlodzimierz] Stein, Tuszynski, Akerman, Liban. Liban is this kind of caretaker, shammash, who didn't start coming to the synagogue until 1989. Or maybe even later. Usually there are five of us, but [Henryk] Halkowski [trained as an architect, but by choice a journalist and translator, author of a collection of essays called The Jewish Life] also comes in at the very end of the prayers. And when groups [of tourists] come to the synagogue, mostly from Israel, then there is a minyan. Jews from other countries come too, and then we usually speak in English in the synagogue.

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Interviewee

Daniel Bertram